Tuesday, March 30
Last Thursday a friend had a birthday. She, like many of you, is a Depeche Mode fan. It puzzles me why they remain so popular here, but hey, if an average British electronica band can make a good birthday present, then I'm happy to promote British exports :-) So I went on the net, and found a new DVD ("The Dark Progression"). It was already Sunday, so I thought it would be a bit risky to get it from Amazon as it might not arrive in time. So I was pleased to find it "skladem" at a Czech web-shop called CD-Net. The price was 349 CZK plus 70 CZK delivery. The payment system would be ‘dobirka' which I don't like, but I had no choice. By Wednesday it still hadn't arrived, so I mailed them. In his reply, the ‘majitel' revealed that although it was in the warehouse, the warehouse was in the Netherlands! Well the birthday came and went, and I still don't have it. So just now, I lost patience, and went to Amazon. It took about one minute to order, and another ten minutes before an automatic confirmation arrived in my mailbox, with an estimated delivery date in Prague 4 days from now. Price? 284CZK plus 127CZK delivery.
The problem with most Czech web-shops (with the exception of Mall.cz) is that they are not shops at all. They are just on-line sales agents, earning a commission. Since you only pay when, or if, the goods arrive, why should you complain if they arrive late? Sorry guys, but sooner or later the market will ask you the question: What do you offer which is better than the competition? Price? Delivery? Service? Ease of use? Right now it looks like Amazon has all the answers.